Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"The arrival of a good clown exercises more beneficial influence upon the health of a town than 20 donkeys laden with drugs."
Thomas Sydenham, seventeenth century English physician

I hate the saying’ always a bridesmaid, never a bride” I like to put it into perspective thinking; “Always a pallbearer, never a corpse” Laura Knightlinger

A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success. Robert Orben

June is a month to celebrate many things. We celebrate weddings, graduations, vacations, reunions, children are out of school and “Thank- God- there- is –summer school.”

With all these celebrations are family get-togethers. And with family usually comes ‘differences of opinion’ aka “arguments”. Sometimes it’s the off handed comment, meant for no one but hurts someone. Occasionally it’s a crash of personalities, both going the same way on a one lane road. For myself, sometimes I just run out of ‘nice minutes’ (on my internal party meter) and I know its time to leave, before the fireworks begin. I had an uncle that “was just joking” when actually, his words were hurtful. Perhaps meaningful siblings make a joke to relieve tension, and the awkwardness just causes more. How many of us have met the relative that says or does something so ridiculous that the rest of the family bonds over our collective groans of embarrassment? (Imagine Aunt Janie whistling “Here Comes the Bride” thru her bottom dentures… at your wedding)

All of the above are examples of “good humor’ gone bad. When someone makes a joke that implies “superiority”, well, someone has to be “inferior’ in order for the joke to work. We participate in jokes like that all the time. Male vs. Female, Blondes vs. Brunettes, or Americans vs. Terrorist are all examples of jokes that come to my emails daily. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I share and most I delete.

Some people insist on putting those quirky “emoticons (think weird smiley face made from colon, dash and back parenthesis) after they write something teasing or sarcastic in an email. If we have to relieve tension this way, maybe we just should'nt send it!

Lastly, in the peak of tension, some people think they need to entertain and distract from the moment. Sometimes I’m grateful for the distraction... and sometimes I’m not. My husband is particularly fond of this type of humor. And why not? He learned it from me.

June is also Firework Safety Month. Stay a safe distance from firecrackers, sparklers and spiteful jokes. Forgive yourself and others for the occasional “misstep’ of humor. Most important, seek out and celebrate the healing power of humor.

Blessings of Gratitude, Humor, Laughter and Mirth,
Debra Joy Hart RN, BFA, CLL
A woman marries hoping that he will change and he doesn’t. A man marries hoping she wont change and she does. Joey Bishop

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
Phyllis Diller

I love being married. Its so great to find that special person you want to annoy the rest of your life. Rita Rudner

That married couples can live together day after day is a miracle that the Vatican overlooked. Bill Cosby

May 1st is my wedding anniversary. Not just mine but “ ours.” Darrell (the husband part of the marriage) and I have worked together with a lot of determination to stay together. It was a second marriage/blended family for both of us . It certainly was not a “Brady Bunch” picnic. It could have been a sit com called,“ Dysfunction Junction.”

Humor held our hands when things seemingly fell apart. When prayers didn’t seem answered, God whispered a gentle “Ha Ha-He He’ into our married ears. God’s breath tickles anyone’s heart. Darrell and I could appreciate each other’s wide range of humor styles. Silly or sarcastic, dark or dirty, Darrell and I could use any style to reframe our troubles. Humor couldn’t cure anything, but it gave us a single moment of a ‘haha’ and turned it into an ‘ aha.” As a couple, we learned compassion for ourselves and others as we slipped on the banana peels that life put in our path. Individually, our sense of humor directed how to share difficult conversations between us. An argument’s healing occurred the moment the first punch line was thrown. I have an abundance of gratitude for all the mirthful moments I have shared with my partner of 15 years.

May 3rd is World Laughter Day( an international day of remembering to take a moment and “ laugh.” I encourage everyone to take a moment and count all the moments of laughter, humor and mirth. I bet if you connected those dots….it would be one huge heart.

Blessings of gratitude, laughter, humor, mirth and joy,
Debra J. Hart RN BFA CLL